What are the symptoms of IBS?

The symptoms of IBS can include:

  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Cramps are often relieved by a bowel movement, but some people with IBS may have cramps and be unable to pass anything. Severity of symptoms varies, and could be anywhere from a mild annoyance to debilitating. Blood in the stool, fever, weight loss, vomiting bile, and persistent pain are not symptoms of IBS and may be the result of some other problem. IBS does not lead to any organic disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or any type of bowel cancer. Recently released guidelines from an international consortium of medical experts help better to define what is and what isn’t IBS (Rome III Classification).


What is a food allergy?

A food allergy or sensitivity is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Once the immune system decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates specific antibodies to it. The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases varying amounts of chemicals, including histamine, in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system. Medical studies have shown that a percentage of those suffering symptoms of IBS in fact have food allergies or sensitivities. Diets that are specifically tailored to avoid these substances result in substantial decrease of these IBS symptoms. Even low level reactions can affect ones overall state of well-being. Scientists estimate that approximately 12 million Americans suffer from true food allergies.


What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

GERD describes a backflow of acid from the stomach into the swallowing tube or esophagus. This acid can irritate and sometimes damage the delicate lining on the inside of the esophagus. Almost everyone experiences GERD at some time. The usual symptom is heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone, most commonly occurring after a meal. In some individuals GERD is frequent or severe enough to cause more significant problems, such as asthma, chest pain, narrowing of the esophagus. gastrointestinal bleeding, or even cancer. Thus, GERD is a condition that occurs when reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus is severe enough to impact the patient’s life and/or damage the esophagus.


What are gallstones?

The gallbladder, a small, muscular, pear-shaped sac below the liver, is a reservoir for bile (produced by the liver), which is expelled into the duodenum and used by the body to digest fats. Gallstones are formed from bile components that become saturated, or too thick, and crystallize to stones. About 8% of the U.S. population has gallstones. Stones are often asymptomatic, but can lead to gallbladder inflammation. When the inflamed gallbladder tries to expel the stones, it can cause severe pain. It can be life threatening if untreated, so see your physician immediately.

What symptoms can be associated with gallstones?

  • Severe pain in the upper right abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Jaundice.
  • Chronic gas.
  • Excessive belching.



What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation anywhere along the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease results from an abnormal immunologic response within the intestinal wall. Of all cases of CD, 45% occur in ileum and colon, 35% in just the ileum, and 20% in just the colon. Unlike ulcerative colitis (UC), which only affects the inner layer, CD commonly involves all layers of the intestinal wall. CD and UC are collectively called Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include: cramps, diarrhea, fever and weight loss.


What is diverticular disease?

In the colon, some people have small pouches that bulge outward through weak spots. These pouches become more frequent with increasing age. Diverticulitis results from inflammation or infection in the pouches, known as diverticula.

  • A single pouch is called a diverticulum.
  • Two or more pouches are called diverticula.
  • Having diverticula is a condition called diverticulosis.
  • Having infected or inflamed diverticula is a condition called diverticulitis.
  • The conditions of diverticulosis or diverticulitis are referred to as diverticular disease.

Diverticulitis occurs in 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis. Approximately half of all Americans ages 60 to 80, and almost everyone over age 80, have diverticulosis at some time.

The disease is common in developed or industrialized countries - particularly the United States, England, and Australia - where low-fiber diets are common. It is rare in countries such as Asia and Africa, where people eat high-fiber, vegetable diets.


What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Internal hemorrhoids result from the abnormal enlargement of vascular “cushions” normally present in the anal canal. Hemorrhoidal symptoms include bleeding, protrusion of tissue, mucus seepage, irritation, and dull aching pain. External hemorrhoids are enlarged skin tags just at the anal opening which can lead to difficult anal hygiene or the development of painful blood clots.


What is fecal incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is defined as the unintentional or uncontrollable passage of flatus or feces. It is a common problem in women and increase with age. Common causes include obstetrical tears of the sphincter, rectal prolapse (protrusion), or nerve dysfunction to the pelvic floor muscles. Treatments of fecal incontinence depend on the cause of the problem and the severity of the symptoms.